Making their Mark: Bent & Bree crafting luxury cork accessories in Seekonk
SEEKONK, Mass. (WJAR) —
From convertible handbags to umbrellas, Bent & Bree is many things -- but all of the company's products come from the same sustainable source: cork.
"We wanted something that was pretty safe and to some extent didn't really harm the environment and that's why we embraced cork," said Helena Silva, founder and creator of Bent & Bree.
Silva launched Bent & Bree two years ago, after the struggling to find environmentally conscious fashion.
"We found it very difficult to have distinct products and conscious products, everything we saw was either leather or PVC," says Silva.
The Seekonk mom turned to cork.
A native of Portugal, Helena and her husband were already quite familiar with the product.
"Over 50 percent of the world's cork comes from Portugal," says Silva.
Cork is sustainably harvested – only the bark is removed, and it grows back.
Silva meets with designers in Portugal, who are experts in working with cork. Together, they bring her creations to life.
"It's so lightweight and that's one of the key selling points and it doesn't really stain," Silva said.
All of the products are lightweight, stain resistant, water repellent, allergy friendly, environmentally friendly and Peta certified.
In just two short years, sales have taken off.
"It's been great, honestly, it's been really phenomenal," said Silva. "I try to move at a pretty constant pace, but I'm starting to sleep less hours, working longer hours - the reception is great."
You can check out the products at the Newport Flower Show in June and The Newport Mansions Wine & food Festival in September.